Numismatic and History Discussions > History and Archeology

Different amphitheatres?

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Nico Creces:
in relation about my topic of the Croatian arena, I have a question:

1.Could it be that there are two different types of arena's?
A type like the Colosseum, open and with a structure above the ground and another type,     with the structure partialy covered in the ground.
(I will post a picture of each.)

2. What was the reason that they built 2 sorts?

Maybe someone can help me.

isnt the second a "literal" amphitheatre used for plays and speeches, etc. ?  you should be content with the fact that you actually got to go there! ;D ;D ;D


Just some guesses:

a.) building it into the ground is cheaper and architectonic less difficult.

b.) building it into the ground is not always achievable. Possible reasons: ground water, sewer, etc.

c.) building it upward is more sensational and representive.


Amphitheatres were commonly built with earthen banks, much cheaper than those of stone. Also they were more stable than wooden amphitheatres some of which are known to have collapsed in ancient times with catastrophic results. There are several earth bank amphitheatres still extant in Britain, to name but one province.  ;D


Earth banks are cheap and easy, as has been said. The Colosseum must have been massively expensive, and elaborate buildings used to collapse occasionally. I don't know how often it happened to the Romans, but church towers collapsed occasionally, notably trhe original tower of Salisbury Cathedral, which fell on top of King John's grave; the arches below the existing one are distorted from the weight of it. Then there was the famous Tay Bridge disaster in Scotland, when the original bridge gave way under a train during a storm. They probably wanted to keep things safe and simple most of the time, but in Rome they needed to show off!


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